If you understand the values of your boss’ generation, it is easier to structure conversations and interactions to help your career move forward and to have both of you feeling good about the relationship.
If your boss is a Boomer, they likely believe that if you want to get ahead “You must pay your dues.” Boomers showed their own commitment and loyalty early in their careers by expending lots of effort and many hours at the office – often for years before being promoted. Your boss may speak with great pride about not having had work/life balance while proving their value to the company when they were coming up through the ranks. Unconsciously, they may believe that giving up balance shows commitment.
Clearly, time spent at your desk does not necessarily equate with meaningful results. Specifically, ask what outcomes your boss is seeking from the initiative you are assigned. When reporting on progress, be sure to elaborate on the results that you are achieving. If you have identified the key measurements for real success, you are more likely to hit the mark. Highlighting those milestones will enable your boss to see that you are making an important contribution. Continue to ask for feedback about what additional results are meaningful and measurable.
Your Boomer boss may genuinely want your input and ideas. However, if you must challenge your boss, do so in private rather than in a public setting such as a meeting. Ask for a face to face, one-on-one meeting to discuss your concerns and insights. Baby boomers can be traditional in some situations and may want their position in the company valued publicly. Having a private conversation shows your respect and also gives you the opportunity to be heard. Be sure to ask for feedback about how the interaction was received and request advice about how to communicate more effectively in the future. This request shows your willingness to learn and grow and opens the door for a meaningful mentoring relationship.
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Contact Lidia directly at (913) 681-6068 or Lidia@ReThinkLeadershipNow.com